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In Silence Waiting

A short by Nikki McCormack

The New Gobi desert is a dangerous place. The only way to cross with relative safety is with guided caravans using genetically engineered slaves, the cynta, creatures designed to sense the dangers of the desert. When the caravan master is killed partway through the crossing, his shackled cynta finds an unlikely ally among the people of the caravan.

This new ally brings the cynta hope for greater freedom, but the dangers of the New Gobi stand before them and many others in the caravan would rather keep the cynta a slave. The cynta can handle the desert. The threat of continued slavery, however, is one it cannot overcome alone.

Without the ability to speak, the cynta must build a strong enough bond with its new ally to weather the challenges lying ahead.

    


Making Monsters

A short by Nikki McCormack

Shai is a girl with nothing in a world run by men. Her parents are gone. She has no lineage to brag about. No future to hope for. Only her brother keeps her safe, but even he isn’t willing to stand up to Kurth, the leader of their little band. Not when it comes to keeping Kurth’s hands of off her and not now, when he should be disputing the older boy’s plans to involve them all in a dangerous heist.

Shai knows the heist would go terribly wrong and, when it does, she is the one to pay the price. Only this time, what promised to be a tragic end brings her together with a woman secretly practicing magic, a craft forbidden to her gender. The encounter will give Shai the strength and freedom she needs to turn the tables on Kurth, but she may have to abandon her humanity to do so.